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Mar 29 2018
From Tolerance To Bigotry And Back: Ancient Examples Of Same-Sex Unions Comments (0)

Hammurabi_2We live in a world that might seem incredibly advanced to our ancestors. We have electric cars, reusable booster rockets, an international space station that was a dream for so many futurists and science fiction authors, we have pocket-sized supercomputers that allow us to keep in touch with our friends and go wild for the best online real money gambling casino, we have a variety of incredible things to showcase the amazing evolution science and technology have undergone in our history. But it seems, we also have quite a few remnants of the darkest age of humanity that stigmatizes people based on their color and sexual preference. And this lack of tolerance often seeps into our governments, shaping policies and the public opinion about certain things that seem normal for anyone with a bit of common sense.

These policymakers like to point fingers at history as a guide and influence to their actions and thoughts - but it seems, they don't look far enough into the past. If they would, they would see that sometimes, tolerance was a trait of many civilizations today's society likes to call primitive. So, without further ado, let us take a brief look at the history of same-sex unions.

The Olden Days

The trouble with ancient history is that most of its records - especially those written on anything less solid than a rock or a wall - are mostly lost to us. Still, historians have found evidence (even if it is intensely debated to this day) of tolerance for same-sex unions were not only tolerated but officially sanctioned, like in the case of Nyankh-Khnum and Khnum-hotep, two Egyptian officials who served under Pharaoh Niuserre during the 5th Dynasty (c. 2494–2345 BC), and were buried in the same mastaba upon their passing. The decorations inside the grave depict them as having a relationship that goes beyond working together.

While little evidence was found of these unions in Egypt, more of it was uncovered in Mesopotamia. Ancient Assyrian prayers have been discovered to ask for the blessing of the gods on same-sex relationships, kings had male lovers, including Hammurabi, the king whose name is forever tied to the famous code of law literally written into stone. By the way, nothing in the famous law collection was ever found to ban same-sex relationships. And it seems, the laws of the time also had an idea or two about consent.

... and Today

Even though many countries have legalized same-sex unions in one form or another, there are still plenty that are reluctant to do so. Although part of society has grown enlightened enough to tolerate equality in this matter, there are still many who consider same-sex unions as a threat to the traditional (and pretty much completely obsolete) marriage and the traditional family.

In time, this form of bigotry will probably decrease and ultimately disappear completely. But it will take a lot of time and effort to achieve the same level of tolerance king Hammurabi's laws had in 1754 BC.